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NFPA 72 Updates

Mar 24, 2020 8:00:00 AM

The first draft of the NFPA 72 2022 edition was posted to the NFPA website in February of 2020. The first draft of the newest edition does have a proposed changes, which we will address later in this article. They are proposed — not set in stone — because you can submit your feedback to NFPA about the changes until May 6.

NFPA 72 Changes

The changes made to the newest edition of NFPA 72 include new terminology for cybersecurity, observations, the removal of old fire monitoring equipment, and a few other topics.

* Please note that we will not cover all of the changes made in this article. For more information, you can consult the NFPA website.

NFPA Terminology

Cybersecurity is a security market trend that is gathering more and more attention. So much so, that the NFPA is finally adding a definition to the newest edition.

New terminology for observations also finds its way into the newest NFPA edition. This is more or less if an inspector or technician finds themself in a scenario or situation where the overall system they are inspecting might be intact and operational, but the inspector feels the need to bring potential issues up with the building owner. These terms are stated as:

Cybersecurity - The protection of systems from theft or damage of data, or damage to hardware or software, as well as from unauthorized command or control for access to any information to any services the systems provide.

Observation - A suggested correction, improvement, or enhancement to the fire alarm or signaling system that is not considered to be an impairment or deficiency.

Cybersecurity & Fire

The plan is to have a whole new chapter on cybersecurity. Protection from digital criminals is every bit as important in today’s world as physical ones. Although this new chapter has not been finalized in the first draft, the requirements and subsections of the chapter are already being addressed. This section lists of systems that need to have one or more cybersecurity standards including:

  • ANSI/ISA-62443 Series
  • NIST Framework for Cybersecurity
  • UL 2900 Series

In the new draft, you’ll also find language about the removal of existing, but abandoned fire alarms. This includes language about marking fire alarms that are no longer working as “not in service” to prevent any confusion between functional and non-functional units.

These are only preliminary changes to NFPA 72 — nothing is set in stone, yet. Again, you have until May 6 to send your comments to NFPA about the newest edition before the second draft comes out.

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